A police standoff in Manhattan produced an embarrassing result on Wednesday. The New York City Police Department reportedly went to a fourth-floor apartment in lower Manhattan to serve an arrest warrant for a suspect in the 2010 murder of a Pace University student.
The unidentified 31-year-old’s mother, who is in a wheelchair, held off the NYPD for six long hours as they engaged in what The New York Times wryly described as “protracted negotiations.” Wow. Try that in the south, honey, and your door would be blasted down so fast you’d be hang-gliding in that wheelchair.
Be that as it may, the police arrived at around 6:30 AM in the morning and heard voices. They could hear young people in addition to the suspect’s mother, which caused them to block off streets and call out hostage negotiators out of an abundance of caution.
Was the suspect never there in the first place, or did he manage to escape while the lower Manhattan police standoff dragged on? The NY Times said that no one knew for sure.
However, another local news source, The Jamaica Observer, makes it sound like the man was definitely there at one point:
“NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says a squad went to arrest the man Wednesday on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and he refused to come out of an apartment.
“Police believe two children and the man’s mother are inside and are treating it as a hostage situation…An officer at the scene says police are talking to the man…”
Hmm. Assuming that most police officers can tell the difference between a woman in a wheelchair and a 31-year-old male murder suspect, it sounds like somebody got their wires crossed somewhere.
If the man was there, NYPD let him escape. If he wasn’t there, they apparently gave out some bad information.
There was already egg on the face of New York City authorities after a recent incident with the city’s 911 alarm system caused a delay in sending an ambulance to the scene of an auto accident. A four-year-old girl died of her injuries, although it isn’t clear if the four-minute delay contributed to her death.
Could there have been another embarrassing human error in yesterday’s prolonged police standoff in Manhattan?